A night that began with trade rumors swirling around whether Tomas Kaberle might become a Boston Bruin ended with a former Bruin finally doing some damage against his old team. Phil Kessel scored twice for Toronto, and Mikhail Grabovski added two more, as the Maple Leafs sent the Bruins to their third straight loss, 4-3.
Daniel Paille opened the scoring, as the Bruins capitalized on an active first period, when Paille threw the puck in front for Gregory Campbell, and it bounced in off Mike Komisarek. The Bruins couldn't maintain the momentum, however, as Phil Kessel broke through for the first time against the Bruins with a power play goal at 17:22 of the first. Kessel scored on what was technically a 5 on 4 power play, but David Krejci had just emerged from the sin bin and hadn't joined the play yet, so it was really a 5 on 3.
Not for the first time this year, the Bruins began the second period sluggishly, and Grabovski capitalized on a mixup between Tim Thomas and Zdeno Chara and put the puck into a wide-open net. The Bruins came to life after that, with a long period of sustained pressure in the Leafs' end, which generated three separate power plays, before Campbell broke through at the very end of a power play after Brad Marchand crashed the net, creating assorted chaos and mayhem, and collected the loose puck for a goal.
The Bruins looked to have things well in hand when Patrice Bergeron outworked Dion Phaneuf down low and put it past James Reimer for his 20th of the season, for a 3-2 lead midway through the third period. However, Dennis Seidenberg got 2 minutes for cross checking, and Kessel capitalized almost immediately, putting his second of the game right through Tim Thomas' five-hole. The Bruins seemed to have the run of play in their favor after that, but Grabovski got the eventual game winner with 1:01 to go on a counterattack and beat Thomas high.
With a sixth attacker on the ice, the Bruins had a golden opportunity, but Reimer robbed Krejci of a sure goal to preserve the two points.
- Tyler Seguin didn't get on the scoresheet, but frequently played with aggression, crashing the net a number of times. And, he had a respectable 12:12 of ice time. That was probably deflated a little by the large number of penalties in this game (the Leafs had 3 power plays, the Bruins 4).
- Krejci was absolutely snakebit tonight, being robbed by Reimer multiple times, particularly in the last minute.
- The Bruins penalty kill continues to struggle, as Toronto was 2 for 3 on the power play.
- Thomas played well Sunday, despite giving up four goals. Tonight, he stunk out loud. He gave up four goals and it easily could have been more, as the Leafs hit iron at least three times. The five-hole on Kessel's second goal was so large that Kessel could have driven the Honda he won on All-Star Weekend through it. You have to cut the guy some slack, given how great he's been this year, but it shows how vulnerable the Bruins are to an off night by their goaltenders.
- This is the first time all year the Bruins have lost three straight in regulation. It is also the first time all year that they have given up four or more goals in four straight games.
- Just in case you haven't heard, Brian Burke confirmed he is in active trade discussions with Peter Chiarelli. There were discussions all afternoon that Tomas Kaberle had waived his no trade clause for Boston, and only for Boston, but that was later debunked...sort of. According to TSN, Kaberle has not waived his NTC, but would be amenable to a trade to Boston. Darren Dreger said nothing was expected to happen this evening, and cited another source saying that it's just discussion. Anyway, the off/on Boston/Kaberle trade rumor appears to be very much "on" right now, and we'll keep you up to date here.
- Yes, I am aware that above note had very little to do with tonight's game. I really have very little to add about this game that doesn't involve a never-ending stream of four-letter words.
- The Bruins will try to break their losing streak on Long Island Thursday night against the Islanders and the white-hot Michael Grabner. Good seats are probably still available.